Bentback – a spoken word poem
I heard every word when I was nine:
Bentback. Bentback. Look at him. Bentback.
I heard every word when I was being bullied
for having a back as twisted as a question mark.
I heard every word and I stood and I said
that soon I’ll have a spine of steel,
that soon the doctors would break me then make me
that soon they’d core me like an apple
and fill me with nectar
from the garden of Eden
and that soon I’d be unbreakable
unshakable, a thing carved
from beneath a mountain
with veins of magma,
a thing able to cause earthquakes
with a cough and storms
with a sneeze and that then then
they’d know how a bad word felt
when it was deflected and reflected back
with the power of science.
And I’m laughing now because I know this:
I know I held them there before me
not with fists or fear but with a voice.
And though I stood there reliant on doctors
I was defiant by myself.
And there and then I put a lid on any kid
I’d care to, who’d dare to tell me what was normal
and I showed them all
how lucky I was because
even though my body’s crashing
I had a voice like rivers smashing
and that a back as twisted as a question mark means
I’m always enquiring
searching for inspiring
with a heart that’s never tiring.
And guess what?
This spoken word poem was written and performed by Dom Conlon. If you enjoyed this and you are thinking 'how on EARTH can I support this young man' then why not...